Friday, February 6, 2009

Smoke Free in Milwaukee

Recently, posted an article talking with bar owners who have opened non-smoking bars in the Milwaukee area. Inevitably, topics such as this bring the classic argument to the forefront – should we be mandated by law to be smoke free in bars or leave it up to the bar owners to follow demand for smoke free locations. See the talkbacks for the varying opinions.

While I can sometimes see the argument behind not making it a law to be smoke free, I generally agree with the thought process for completely banning smoking in places like restaurants and bars. I truly feel that smoking affects everyone around you, and you are forced to smoke via second hand force.

In the spirit of compromise, my suggestion would be to establish regulations on the amount of “smoke” that can be allowed in the air, and establishments should be held to that standard via health inspections, in the same way food and drink health code requirements are enforced. If bars want to remain a smoking environment, they should install smoke eaters to make the air clean for all patrons and workers. Or the alternative is, GASP, making people smoke outdoors. I’ve seen it in action at places in Madison and it doesn’t seem to hurt anyone. Second hand smoke on the other hand, that’s another story.

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